WEEKS 7 – 8

…….Cheez-Its and Spaghetti Pieces

“Mental acuity of any kind comes from solving problems yourself, not from being told how to solve them.” ~ Paul Lockhart, A Mathematician’s Lament.

We love this statement– mainly because we’ve seen it work over and over. Students discouraged by their perceived inability to memorize artificial rules or weary of the drudgery of meaningless repetition, suddenly flourish when we slow down, ask them to just look at things, and show respect for their ability to derive their own meanings.

Try slowing down!

This does not mean making your questions easier. Go ahead and make them hard! It just means giving more time.


  1. Egyptian Fraction Review

This activity reviews the Egyptian Fraction concept.

Start by showing this video by James Tanton about “sharing fractional pieces”.

(Link to Puzzle Point instruction page)

New in Puzzle Packet #4: How to solve MARUPEKE puzzles.

Just for fun: Why hands-on investigations are so important!

2. Word Problem Practice – “Builders and Scribes”

This activity gets students to rely heavily on communication, which is an integral component of conceptual understanding.

3. Intro: Talking About Squares

Making sense out of area and perimeter and fascinating patterns in squares.

The above is a quote from a great math investigation book called “Math Circle by the Bay – Topics for Grades 1 – 5”, by Givental, Nemirovskaya, Zakharevich.

STATIONS DAY An introduction to the series of numbers we call squares.

4. Spaghetti Posters in the Circle

Instructions for Spaghetti-Circle Game

5. Reviewing Square Patterns

Link to the game ” Dicey Area, Dicey Perimeter” on the “nrich” website. Nrich is one of our favorite math websites.

6. Word Problems with Sharky

An entertaining question involving the adventures of Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Sharky. Good as a warm up.

7. Digital websites for Practicing with Fractions->

Quiz #3 – What about Assessment?

Link to blog about the philosophy behind our assessments.

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